Curriculum, Methods and Resources

What are all the methods of homeschooling?

There are many methods of homeschooling. An internet search for types of homeschooling or a search for homeschooling methods at your local library are two ways to find information about homeschooling methods. Some homeschoolers find a method that works well for their homeschooled children and others combine methods to create a custom program for their children.

Some well-known methods are: Traditional Method, Unit Study, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Classical, Literature-Based, Leadership Education, Eclectic, and many more.

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How do I choose a curriculum?

This can be a very difficult question, since there are so many options. It can be overwhelming and challenging to decide where to begin.

First you have to figure out what approach you want to use. (See question above.)

Your curriculum is your plan of study. If you make a choice and it turns out not to be ideal for your child, you can change course at any time.

Some tips from experienced homeschoolers:

  • Select an approach with which you feel comfortable.
  • If you find that you don’t like something or it’s not working well, make a change.
  • Often parents choose curriculum that appeals to the parent, so think about whether it appeals to your child/children as well.
  • Take your child’s learning style into account. Is your child an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner? What are your child’s interests?
  • Be realistic about the amount of time you have for preparation (some forms of curriculum require very little time for preparation on your part and others require a great deal).
  • Remember, there is no perfect curriculum or approach and many families change their approach over time.

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Do I have to use a purchased curriculum?

No. Many families create their own curriculum. Since your curriculum is your plan of study, you can pull from various sources, including life experiences, that you find valuable to your homeschooling experience. There are no state regulations that require you to purchase a curriculum or to have it approved by anyone other than you, the administrator of your homeschool.

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How much does a curriculum cost?

You can put together a curriculum yourself for free to very little money or you can spend hundreds of dollars or more per year purchasing a curriculum. It is possible to work with almost any budget when homeschooling.

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What about online virtual school?

Online virtual public charter schools are public schools. Participating in one of these schools is NOT homeschooling. All public schools are required to meet public school standards and the school, rather than the parent, decides what the child will learn and when. For more clarity click here.

What about online or virtual private school?

You will need to determine where the school is located.

If the online or virtual private school is located outside of Wisconsin, you will file a PI-1206 Homeschool Report, as you will be responsible for ensuring Wisconsin’s educational requirements are met.

If the online or virtual private school is located in Wisconsin, your child is enrolled in a private school and is a private school student, and not a homeschool student. They are included on that school’s PI-1207 Private School Report, and a PI-1206 Homeschool Report is not filed for your child.

Click here for all Wisconsin statutes pertaining to home-based private educational programs.

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Does my curriculum need to be approved by someone?

No. As the administrator of your homeschool, you are the one who is completely responsible for your child’s education and curriculum approval.

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What subjects or content am I required to cover?

Each year, homeschooling parents must provide a at least 875 hours of instruction. They must also provide “a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health. This subsection does not require the program to include in its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with the program’s religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic, or practice consistent with the program’s religious doctrines.” (Wis Stat 118.165(1)(d))

As administrator of your homeschool, you decide how to use these hours and what type of program of learning you use for each subject.

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I’ve heard the state requires study of specific topics. What are the requirements for Wisconsin homeschoolers?

Public schools have specific topics of study, such as providing Lifesaving Skills instruction in 7-12th grade health courses, which must be included in their curriculum. Wisconsin homeschools do not share these mandates. Under Wis. Stat. 118.165(d), the topics Wisconsin homeschools must provide are: “reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health.”

As the administrator of your homeschool, you are free, under the law, to decide whether to include additional topics in your home-based private educational program.

If you hear or read of an educational requirement, read the applicable Wisconsin statute to see if it includes ‘home-based private educational program.’ If it does not, you do not have to meet that requirement.

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Last Updated on 08/21/23

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